Everything You Need to Know About Tap Dancing

Shoes for tap dance

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Are you ready to tap away at your first class? Tap dancing is an extremely energetic and lively activity that’s bound to raise your serotonin levels. What makes it different from other dance styles is that it doesn’t involve any pre-recorded melodies during dance sessions. Instead, you’re moving your body to the beat of your own feet. So basically, you’re also acting as an instrument to provide the music since there are no other background sounds available. Sounds thrilling, doesn’t it?

Another good thing about tap dancing is that anyone can do it. You don’t need any specific level of physical fitness or prior dance training to be able to tap your feet to your heart’s content.

What’s the Point of Tap Dancing?

Tap dance shoes

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Tap dancing originated in the 19th century in the United States and it’s essentially a combination of traditional African and Irish dance. While tap dance has undergone some changes through the years, it’s still the same at its core. It’s a unique style of dance that basically turns your feet into a drum, with each sole moving in very quick and precise ways to provide the desired beat and rhythm. Sure, tap dancers can use background music while performing but the real beauty of the activity is dancing acapella. It’s all about syncing the tapping sounds the metallic soles on your shoes make with the rapid and detailed choreography. This is what makes tap dancing stand out from the other dance forms.

What Tap Shoes Should You Buy?

Tap shoes

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The first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions tap dancing is the specific shoes. To make the most out of this experience, you need a pair of reliable shoes tap dancing model that will easily create the sounds you’re trying to do. Since they’re an important piece of dance equipment, there are a few factors you need to consider when getting your own pair.

Get the Right Size

Even in an everyday context, we all want to get comfy shoes that don’t kill our feet and this aspect is magnified when it comes to tap dancing. In order to have a better sound quality and shock absorption, you need to choose shoes that fit snugly around your feet, not too tight or too loose. Bear in mind that your shoes will stretch and enlarge with extended use over time so don’t get a size that’s too large. Test your shoes out while you’re trying them on at the store by doing a few tap dance moves to see if they’re a good fit for you.

A useful thing to know – the top line of the shoe is where the upper edge meets your ankle. For beginners, it’s a good idea to buy shoes with a higher topline for some extra stability and support for your ankle. On the other hand, lower topline shoes provide more flexibility and ease of movement for more experienced tap dancers.

Types of Materials

In most cases, tapping shoes are made of leather. This means that they ensure extra durability and long-lasting wear all while providing high-end comfort and breathability. In some cases though, you might come across canvas tap shoes are extremely lightweight but less resilient than leather ones.

Type of Sole

Here we can make a distinction between two types – split-sole and full sole. Split-sole shoes have a base that’s split into two parts – one for the toes and another one for your heel. This offers more elasticity and freedom of movement without any constraints. As opposed to this, the underside of full sole shoes isn’t divided into parts and therefore it’s quite appropriate for children and beginners. A word of advice – start off with full sole shoes and then work your way towards split-sole ones when you gain more experience.

Do You Wear Socks With Tap Shoes?

The short answer is yes. You need to wear either socks or tights to prevent friction and blisters because we all know what a nuisance those can be. You can opt for ankle-high socks if you don’t want them to be as visible while tap dancing. When you’re shopping for tap dance shoes, it might be a good idea to try them on with the socks you’re planning to use when dancing. This way you’ll have a better idea of how they feel. Soon enough, you’ll be hearing those shoes tap constantly along the dancefloor.

What Clothes Should You Wear When Tap Dancing?

A woman tap dancing

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There’s no strict rule when it comes to the type of clothes you should wear while tap dancing. Normally, you would choose casual, comfy clothes so that you can move around easily. Even street clothes are an acceptable option if that’s your cup of tea. Loose but form-fitting clothes seem like the go-to option for many tap dancers. Whatever clothes you choose at the end, shouldn’t limit your movement or make you sweat excessively. Tap dancing is a form of exercise after all.